Using the World Around You

03.03.2017 |

Episode #7 of the course How to learn a foreign language by WordBrewery


Welcome back! Today we are going to explain how to create an “immersive” experience.

As an enthusiastic learner, you may want to surround yourself in your target language. But traveling to another country is expensive. Despite this, it’s possible to create an atmosphere for learning.

The following are some suggestions to create an immersive environment at home:

1. Read target language newspapers, magazines, and books. Some of these may be free online, some you might have to buy. Before you go to Amazon, try searching your local library for free materials. They may have books in your target language. A library bookstore, which sells old library books and donations, might also have a foreign language section.

2. Invest in watching some films. Do this with and without subtitles. If you are a beginner or intermediate learner, look for actor interviews, dramas, or documentaries. Thoroughly research prominent news sites in your target language, as they might have TV specials, cooking shows, and other sister networks.

3. Change your computer settings. Try changing your computer language, as well as that of your social media sites. It can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning, so we would suggest to first change your Facebook or Twitter as a beginner, and at an intermediate level, change your laptop language.

4. Play games in your target language. Nowadays popular games offer language options, at least for the subtitles. Pokemon and The Sims are just two examples. The Sims, in particular, is extremely helpful, as it contains everyday vocabulary.

5. Practice your hobbies in your target language. Try finding a language meet-up group and suggest group activities based on your hobbies. Like music? Create an event for a free concert and talk with the attendees about it.

6. Find friends. You can do this through forming a language exchange or visiting a meet-up group.

7. Label everything. If you are interested in passive learning, try labelling everything in your room with its target language equivalent.

8. Cook food from your target country. This is a cultural activity, but it’s a fun one. Try reading the recipe in your target language before you start! Most likely there will also be a video recipe in your target language.

9. Listen to the radio or to monologues. The radio is great, but if you are just starting out, try listening to a scene from a movie with target language subtitles. Radio programs do not always have transcripts, but movies do, and they are far more accessible. If you are an advanced learner, podcasts in your target language are also useful.

Ultimately, there are numerous ways to incorporate language into your daily life. Of course, you can combine these activities with flashcards and high-frequency words to solidify the new knowledge.

Today we learned that language learning can include numerous activities to help you master each skill. But of all the skills, listening can be one of the most difficult to master.

Check your inbox tomorrow for some tips and tricks to improve your listening comprehension.


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